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Fight Against Maturity

Dragon virgin births

news @ nature.com
A nativity story with a twist is playing out this Christmas in two zoos in the UK. At Chester Zoo, a Komodo dragon named Flora awaits the birth of eight babies, and another four dragons have already hatched at London Zoo — each and every one the product of a virgin conception.

The miraculous births, which are all males, could be a product of keeping this threatened species in captivity, say researchers, and could have implications for the continued health of zoo-bound populations.

Parthenogenesis — reproduction without the need for fertilization by a male — is rare in vertebrates. Some animals, including several lizard species, are known to be capable of it. But Komodo dragons have never been seen to breed like this before.

December 20, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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